IT Center Blog

The Metadata Form – Migrate Archive Nodes via Metadata

December 15th, 2021 | by
Dachshund sits in a large cardboard box

Knowledge is when you know where it is and what is in it. During archive migration, data is moved. To know what has to go where, we query metadata. (Source:

We know it too well ourselves from moves of all kinds: if we know what is contained in the boxes, it is much easier for us to decide whether we still want to keep certain contents or whether we can say goodbye to them. For this reason, we at least write on the box what is included and where it belongs.

The same goes for data that we want to archive, for example. We don’t have boxes available, but we can “label” the nodes to be archived with metadata. To do this, the appropriate node contacts receive a dedicated link to a metadata form about what exactly belongs to an archive node. What this is all about, you can read in this article.

The migration form, or metadata form

In the course of archive migration, the data stored in archive nodes must be classified and then migrated to the corresponding target systems. This cannot be done without the users, who know their data best. For this reason, we collect metadata about the corresponding nodes. This is done via a web form. The links are generated individually for each archive node so that the assignment of the metadata then also fits the data to be archived.

This sounds quite abstract at first, but if you imagine it figuratively, you are filling out a kind of relocation form. This form contains important information about the data. Data about data, so to speak, i.e. metadata. This data is not only used to determine what kind of data it is, but the classification of the data is also used to assign it to the appropriate target system. Research data is migrated to Coscine and data without a research context is migrated to the DigitalArchive.

As with any move, during archive migration many users will find that they no longer have a use for the archived data and that migration makes no sense at all. In this case, you can conveniently click the “Discard Node” (“Knoten verwerfen”) button. The node will then not be migrated and eventually discarded.

But why do we collect data about data?

If we consider that the data to be archived in the DigitalArchive alone will have a holding period of 10 years, our future self or even a successor will thank us for basic information about the archived data. A good index is indispensable in any major publication or scientific work. Why then not also when it comes to our data to be archived?

With the switch from Archive to the new DigitalArchive, it is now possible to manage read and write permissions. This allows additional data project admins to access the content. With metadata, finding and viewing data is thus much easier, as this also gives people an impression of the archived data who, for example, have not filed it or have filed it a very long time ago.

Migrating archive nodes via metadata form

In the case of our large move of archived data, however, it is even more important that metadata be entered specifically for each archive node. Strictly speaking, they are mandatory because without entering the metadata and assigning it accordingly to research or non-research data, data cannot be migrated. Therefore, it is worthwhile to enter the metadata as early as possible. Currently, the archived data is still in the archive, which is only available “read only”. Only after the migration you will be able to access your data in the new destination. As soon as this is possible, you will be informed individually by email.

So get to the metadata, ready, go! 😉

On IT Center Help you can find the instructions for migrating via the metadata form as well as many other helpful instructions.

By June 30, 2022 at the latest, it will be critical, because then it will be “Bye, bye TSM and Tape Library!” when the legacy system is shut down.

You can find our articles on archive migration on the IT Center Blog.


Responsible for the content of this article is Nicole Filla.

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